Attorney Jeffrey Leving : Bringing Attention to Parental AlienationObjectives :
Jeffery Leving is one of very few divorce attorneys in the country who focuses solely on men’s rights. As such, Zapwater Communications was always abreast of breaking news coverage that could source his legal expertise. A golden opportunity came when Ireland Baldwin, the daughter of divorced celebrity couple Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, failed to answer a pre-arranged phone call from her father. The resulting anger led to a voicemail message left on Ireland’s answering machine in which Baldwin referred to her as a “thoughtless little pig” and repeated other extremities.
A tape of the voicemail message was purportedly leaked to the press by Kim Basinger herself. The resulting media firestorm focused primarily on Baldwin’s irresponsible behavior as a father, but also the psychological damage Basinger may have caused by allowing the tape to be made public. Zapwater Communications immediately recommended Jeffery Leving as an expert source to review the case and inform audiences of Adult Parental Alienation; when one parent uses a child in a divorce as a pawn against their ex.
Within hours, the Zapwater team drafted a pitch referring Leving as an expert source and exhibited his experience representing fathers in custody disputes. The pitch was tailored to focus on the unique perspective Leving would bring to a legal debate. As the media attention surrounding the incident grew, Zapwater submitted its pitch via e-mail and telephone to all of the top producers of national news. A Zapwater Communications publicist received a phone call from a producer for the Fox News Channel news talk program, Hannity and Colmes and, later that evening, Jeffery Leving participated via satellite in a live, on-air debate about the Baldwin-Basinger dispute.
Zapwater Communications ensured that Leving was fully prepared for his media appearance. He was provided with the following talking points:
- This situation is not about the two famous celebrities Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, it is about protecting a child.
- Divorces are difficult enough for children without intense media scrutiny. Consequently, Ireland has to deal with her personal struggle under the microscope of the paparazzi. What happens when she is asked at school, “why does your mom hate your dad so much?”
- Express outrage by the behavior of Kim Basinger or her people that they would put her child’s health and welfare on the backburner to score cheap points with her ex-husband. This is exactly the type of behavior that gives children life long scars.
- Address the very real subject of Adult Parental Alienation, which occurs when one parent uses a child in a divorce as a pawn against their ex.
- Speak to the frequency with which children are victimized in divorce proceedings. This case emphasizes how using a child as a pawn only hurts the child.
Result Highlights :
Guided by Zapwater Communications’ expertise, Leving displayed excellent debate tactics and brought a fresh perspective to the media-intensive case while participating in the Hannity and Colmes interview. His appearance snowballed into a series of national television appearances including Court TV with Catherine Crier, CNN Headline News with Erica Hill, Inside Edition and MSNBC. Leving also served as a legal expert on top Chicago drive-time radio shows such as The Loop’s “Jonathan Brandmeier” show and the WLS-AM “Jerry Agar” show. In fact, Mr. Agar was impressed with the interview he invited Leving to cover the same topic on his New York show the following day (WABC-New York). This media attention culminated into our best hit as Jeffery M. Leving served as a legal expert on NBC’s The Today Show interviewed by Matt Lauer.